CNN Black In America

CNN Black In America

While CNN’s special documentary on Black America left many viewers thinking the network had underutilized its many resources, it is important to recognize that, in some segments Soledad O’Brien did manage to positively highlight the institution of family, a cornerstone of the black community.

Although the documentary seemed to mainly focus on the negative aspects of the black family by gathering high divorce rates and out of wedlock birth statistics, O’Brien did show some of the positive side of the black family structure in America.

This highlight might not compare to the negative connotation of blacks in America if you are not accustomed to attending a family reunion or looking forward to seeing that crazy uncle who can never remember your name but can’t wait for you to tell him your latest achievement. But as a member of the Rand family, which was featured on the first night of “Black in America”, I can say that I do appreciate O’Brien’s brave delve into helping Americans of all backgrounds better understand what it means to value togetherness.

As for my family attending the family reunion, that occurs every other year, means much more than good food and fun. It involves learning your family history and meeting the matriarchs and patriarchs of your ancestry. Attending a family reunion and getting schooled by great uncles and aunts won’t ensure that any of us stay out of jail or not drop out of school. But what it does ensure is that when I do encounter that fork in the road or experience that shadow of a doubt I know that there is unit, a family that I can turn to for a reality check. For many black Americans like me this truth is self evident.

Now don’t get me wrong. Yes, it is discouraging to see that one of the world’s top news outlets can’t manage but to reiterate age old stereotypes. And…yes… I do consider it poor journalism to only investigate the rising cases of “baby daddy’s.” But it is necessary that, as members of a targeted community, we continue to strive to disprove the media’s statistics. And by choosing to challenge the documentary that was presented to viewers across the world we are doing just that.

It is important for us to understand that being Black in America is a relative concept and differs from person to person. To try and condense the black community into a homogenous glob will never produce an accurate portrayal of the triumphs that blacks have achieved or troubles that we encounter. As the black community loses another man to the jail system, it is important to remember that at that same time there is a black man walking across a stage and receiving a degree or saving a life in an operating room.

As we witness the nomination of America’s first Black presidential candidate we can choose to say “This is what it means to Black in America.” As we sit in the classrooms of one of the country’s most competitive universities, we can honestly say that “This is what it means to be Black in America.” As you read this article and you ponder over your own values you can say that ….”This….is what it means…to be BLACK…in America.


August 6, 2008 at 11:56 pm 3 comments


Tyra Banks posing as Michelle Obama

Tyra Banks posing as Michelle Obama

Supermodel turned talk show host Tyra Banks and three other models were cast as the Obama family in a Harper Bazaar Photo shoot.During the shoot, Tyra was brought to tears when talking about how presidential candidate Barack Obama inspires her:”I did a talk show, and we were testing racism with little kids. We showed them a picture of a black man in a suit and a picture of a white man in a suit. And we asked, ‘Which one can be president?’ These kids were all of different races — black, white, everything — and not one of them said that the black man could be president. Not one. So what gives me tears is if Barack Obama wins, kids are going to say that a black man can be president, too.I think it will give so many people — black, Latin, Asian, even white people that feel forgotten–it gives them hope. I did not think I would see it in my lifetime, and I’m only 34.”

August 6, 2008 at 11:53 pm Leave a comment


Ty McGracy Mcgrady and kids on July 19th-Click to Enlarge

Ty McGracy Mcgrady and kids on July 19th-Click to Enlarge

Houston Rockets NBA player Tracy McGrady must pay $54,156 a year in child support payments for a daughter he fathered when he was in a committed relationship with his present wife. The amount is far less than the $204,000/year that a Bradentown woman named Pearl Vega thought would be more appropriate with McGrady’s $21.6 million salary. Pearl Vega argued to a judge back in December 2007 that she would like her daughter to have a lifestyle equal to McGrady’s other children with his wife Clarenda. Pearl says that her daughter(b. November 2005) deserves a lifestyle of tutors,private schooling,Private jets, and expensive clothes,saying that McGrady  at one time spent $45,000 per month on personal travel alone. Judge Donna Berlin,however, recently ruled that Vega just wants to enhance her own lifestyle stating that “It is inappropriate for Ms. Vega to use child support as a means to further her education when she chooses to attend college as a full-time student and expect Mr. McGrady to pay for tuition, a full-time nanny and other domestic help.”

McGrady is still married to his wife Clarenda Harris.McGrady and his wife were together eight years before marrying in 2006. The couple share a six-bedroom, 23,000-square-foot house with their children daughter Layla Clarice(born Jan 25, 2003) and a son Laymen Lamar, (born December 27, 2005).

August 6, 2008 at 11:49 pm Leave a comment


Nicole Richie,daughter of singer Lionel Richie, was photographed with her fiance Joel Madden and their daughter Harlow during a shopping trip on Monday in Santa Monica.

Nicole Richie,daughter of singer Lionel Richie, was photographed with her fiance Joel Madden and their daughter Harlow during a shopping trip on Monday in Santa Monica.

August 6, 2008 at 11:47 pm Leave a comment


Filmmaker Guy Richie is overwhelmed with the love he feels for his adopted son David Banda:”Fatherhood is unbelievable. It has taken over my life.”But something else surprised me – how much you can love an adopted child, the same as you can love a biological child. I didn’t anticipate that.”

Guy Richie and his wife,singer Madonna, adopted David Banda,2 1/2, in 2006 from Malawi in Southeastern,Africa. The adoption was a highly publicized event because Malawian law requires would-be parents to reside in Malawia for one year before adopting.(wikipedia)After 20 months of waiting for the adoption to be approved,Guy and his wife Madonna were given the go-ahead to adopt little David Banda earlier this year. Banda now has a sister named Lourdes,Madonna’s first child from a previous relationship,and a brother named Rocco,11, Madonna’s second child with Guy Richie.

August 6, 2008 at 11:45 pm Leave a comment


A few days ago,news of singer Chris Brown fathering a baby made its way around the net. It was alleged that a woman named Michelle Gasper, a 19 year old from Tappahannock, Virginia called her local radio station last Saturday morning claiming that Chris Brown is the father of her 4-year-old son. BCK is happy to report that those rumors are false.Billy Flynn, program director of the radio station in question says:

As the program director for the only radio station in Essex county Virginia allow me to take a moment to say that no one called our station on Saturday about Chris Brown nor do we have a Maurice Hendricks employed here.

August 6, 2008 at 11:43 pm 1 comment

Angela Simmons & Bow Wow?

Word on the street is that rapper Bow Wow is dating Rev. Run’s daughter Angela Simmons. The two have been seen together quite a bit, but that may very well mean absolutely nothing.

August 5, 2008 at 1:50 am Leave a comment

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